San José, Costa Rica, since 1956

Suicide rate among Costa Rican high school students worries educators

Officials from the Education Ministry say they are concerned about a spike in the number of high school students who have committed suicide this year and are drafting a response plan, Radio ADN reported last week. 

So far this school year, 21 students have committed suicide, up from two this time last year. The number of teenage suicides this year is the highest since 2002, when 48 cases were registered. None of the incidents this year took place in schools.

According to Rocío Solís, director of the Education Ministry’s Youth Assistance Program, cases include indigenous high school students, ADN reported.

Mauricio Campos, suicide prevention coordinator at the Costa Rican Association of Psychiatrists, said the increasing rate of student suicide is alarming. Suicide is the third leading cause of death among young Costa Ricans, after traffic accidents and cancer, Campos said.

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